Friday, August 29, 2008

My Hannah

I was just sitting here at the computer. All the children in bed and while browsing through blogs I hear Hannah and Annette talking. Mostly Hannah. She reminds me of myself when I was younger. I remember having a hard time falling to sleep because my mind would be so busy! Hannah is like me but she is like her dad in that whatever she is currently interested in becomes her PASSION. This sometimes makes her pretty intense and, to her siblings, annoying. At the same time, it makes her excited, full of life and driven to learn and experience things.

I think we all have our faults that turn out to also be our strengths. For instance, the things I admire in Steve are the same things that sometimes drive me up a wall! Annette's sensitive side, while causing her to delight in being kind to others, also makes her especially prone to hurt feelings. Hannah's eagerness to do the next thing makes her tend toward impatience. My love for staying home allows me to be happy to home-school, love to play with the children and love to be available for my husband. On the other hand, I drag my feet on going anywhere or calling anyone on the telephone. I could easily be a hermit, I think. But then, my husband is annoyingly, and blessedly, social.

But I digress.

Anyway, I was thinking of Hannah and what life might look like from her perspective. She's a deep-thinker, loves to talk, read, learn, and socialize. In the last year and a half she has gotten used to and enthusiastically embraced the idea of three new siblings. She has never once complained of having to share my attention or of doing with less. She helps me eagerly and follows me around-- sometimes chatting endlessly until I stop hearing her but she doesn't get offended when I admit that she talked so much that I forgot to keep listening. In fact, she's kind-of proud of being a chatterbox, like Anne of Green Gables.

Her latest persistent request was that we start going to the library again. I admit, I have been avoiding it. Don't get me wrong, I love the library. I love that she loves to read. But, I'm scatterbrained and prone to procrastination, so If we are going to go to the library, I need to make it a weekly habit or else we'd end up buying a new wing for our local library in the fines we'd rack up after going once and forgetting to return the books.

Also, I have been dreading taking all six kids to our local public library. The ladies there are not friendly at all and the children's area is not closed off from the rest of the library. In fact, it is right next to the study tables. Anyway, I am pretty sure Vitali would not be a big hit with our librarians!

Finally, I compromised. We'd make time each week to stop at our church library. Hannah was thrilled and we stopped in Wednesday night after her class. She and Annette were so excited to pick out their books. One of the books Hannah picked out was called "How to make your room special" (or something like that). It is full of all these steps and tips for cleaning, organizing and decorating her room. Written for little girls, it was just the book for her! she scurried through her schoolwork yesterday, eager to get started on the first phase, cleaning up. Tomorrow she is looking forward to orgainzing and the next day? Decorating!

Her room looks great and she is so proud. I love it. Thanks to that passion for her task that she gets from her daddy, she is sleeping now (done talking for the night) in a very prettily cleaned bedroom. And she is satisfying her urge to accomplish something artistic (I think that one comes from me) because she has made her bedroom look pretty again and is occupied with dreaming up organizational strategies and decorating ideas.

What a cool little girl. I think if I were eight, I'd want to be her friend.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A new post, at last!

HI! Remember me? Haven't heard from me in a while, have you?
Sorry! I've been busy.

Don't hold a grudge. Look. I have pictures. There. Feel better?

We are back in school now. Back in school meaning back at the kitchen table much of the morning and some of the afternoon. Sound fun? Ha! fooled you! Just kidding. Actually, I like being back at the books. The stack is much taller this year and the table much fuller but it is nice to have a routine again after the summer. Also, it's entertaining to hear,
"Stop shicken table!"
over and over all morning. (Max, thanks to his Russian accent and limited understanding of English, says 'chicken' and 'shaking' exactly the same way. He doesn't even notice when us girls tell each other to not to "chicken" the table.)

Ivy and Vitali join us at the table for a while and then wander off to play together. They try to alternate that with harassing each other at random intervals so no one at the table will spend too long thinking on only schoolwork. It is their public service to us. For this we are truly thankful.

Here, during a break, Vitali poses for my camera by sweetly aiming a doomed kiss at the reluctant Ivy. Even at three she has my hard-to-get-ness down pat, doesn't she Steve?
She's pretty cute so it's worth another try. She did her own hair that day. Apparently it attracts four-year-old, really cute boys. Too bad this one's her brother.

Another swing and a miss. That one was closer, Vita. Better luck next time!
Know what else we've been up to? Revamping the only room we haven't touched (except to paint it white) since we've moved in. The green bathroom. As you will see, it is now the blue bathroom. Doesn't matter. No one has yet called it that. It's been the "Green Bathroom" (thanks to the dark green faux marble linoleum) for so long!

And, let me point out that this was a worthy endeavor. First of all, no one was fooled by the green marble. It may have been more convincing if it weren't curling up where someone was too lazy to lay it under the toilet and had settled for making it a ten-piece puzzle of curling grossness around there. The cabinet was crumbling. It was pretty much all fake wood and when the faucet sprung a leak underneath that no one noticed till it was time for a new roll of (soggy) toilet paper, the thing swelled and warped till it had successfully trapped all the kids toothbrushes in the drawer.

It was time. Trouble was, if we were going to fix the cabinet, then it was time to do the floor. Couldn't do the floor until we changed out the tub which had complexion issues when we arrived that not even a heavy-duty helping of elbow grease could touch.

So, we (Steve and his merry men) hacked out the old tub. Steve put in the new one. I would like to point out that I helped.

Then he put down ceramic tile. I helped with this too.
...ok, I didn't. I cannot tell a lie.

I did paint, though. Light blue.

Cabinet, all wood. Sink. Faucet: brushed nickel. Also brushed nickel towel holders and bathtub faucets. It's gotta match, you know.

Mirror. Finally found this at Home Goods, which is owned by Target. And I do mean FINALLY!

Mom took ALL the kiddos for a whole day (Haaaa-le- lu-Yah!) and, although the bathroom was done, no one was allowed to use it until it had its finishing touches. Steve actually used date-day to go shopping for picture frames, and a magazine rack. (Don't click your tongues at me, we did other stuff too. We saw Iron Man, for goodness sakes! That's definitely a guy thing!)

And a couple of fluffy towels and white rugs and a step stool and it was ready for 'business'. if you know what I mean.

Unfortunately, I don't have a fish-eye lens for my camera so you get to see only a sampling. Oh, and those roses are real, My honey brought me those. Isn't he sweet?
Vitali fell in the driveway and got the first bath thanks to his skinned knee and scraped eye. He was pretty proud because all his siblings stood around wishing they had a good excuse to try it out. Luckily for Ivy, her hair was full of something sticky and so she got to jump in too.
She did enjoy brushing her teeth on that new step-stool later, too. Not the best picture but she sure is a cute little chub, isn't she? I love three. What a cute age.

All Righty, that's all for now. Thanks to those of you who still visit my sparse blog-postings. (sniff, sob) You are a wonderful bunch of very valuable people....provided you leave nice comments, that is.